The Self-Care Wellness Cycle
Intro to WellnessYou know that feeling when you take those five extra minutes in the shower to exfoliate and shave every inch of your body to then cover it with coconut oil (or whatever cream/oil) and leave the house feeling like the Goddess of Softness? Or that feeling of freshness and achievement after hours of cleaning the house – while wearing a facemask – and everything, including your face, looks spic-and-span?
The Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of California firmly believe that “wellness matters” and it really does, but we need to stop thinking that we will only achieve it through ‘instagramable’ self-care actions that require a rather than actual care for ourselves.
My favorite definition of wellness comes from The National Wellness Institute: “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.”
It means that this process might sometimes make us feel uncomfortable. In practice, it’s often about doing things that we’re not used to doing for the sake of our future selves.
Achieving wellness is an active process of becoming aware of what your body and your mind need to have a healthy, fulfilling life. This, of course, includes making everyday choices and doing things that require a little bit more effort. These might include choosing to eat a healthier lunch or sticking to a planned budget, getting rid of toxic people (even though you might love them) or setting an alarm 10 minutes earlier to have time to jornal. In the end, it all adds up to having a more balanced way of achieving sustained happiness.
Self-care is rooted in taking responsibility for your own needs. It’s respecting yourself, your worth, and honoring the needs that come from within. Many times it’s about giving up the need to be “liked” by others in order to really love yourself.
On the other hand, there are also simpler things that make us feel proud(ish) and good about ourselves, things that make us feel like we’ve transformed into a better version of ourselves when in reality we only added an in-shower, 10-minute-long hair treatment.
But do not underestimate it, wellness may often be seen as something we can only seek when we ‘deserve’ it, when in reality the more importance we give to self-care and wellness, the more content and connected to our essence we’ll feel and the more fulfilled we’ll be about everything else we do.
So, if self-care comes in the shape of a dreamy bath or well-organized finances, the importance of detoxifying from stress and bad habits is the first step towards assuming responsibility for the quality of our lives.
And it's not complicated
Wellness might not get us the outside approval that we unconsciously seek, but it’s an opportunity to connect to our self and to be free from the burden of meeting other peoples’ expectations.
This, my dear friends, is the feeling of wellness: comfort, satisfaction, and self-love. It all starts with the conscious decision to shape a healthy life and keeping at it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.